Fox News host Laura Ingraham pulled no punches during a Friday night interview with House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes over recent CNN criticism about the chairman’s handling of documents.
The two were discussing FBI and DOJ documents that the committee “needed yesterday” when Ingraham brought up a recent CNN report claiming that Nunes himself “opted not to read” un-redacted documents already made available to him and Rep. Trey Gowdy at the Department of Justice. The report said Nunes instead chose to leave the task to staffers and Gowdy.
“Now you’re getting slammed in response by CNN and now others that you asked for these documents and then you, Devin Nunes, have a staffer read them,” the Fox News host said.
“You don’t read them. So how serious are you?” Ingraham asked, mimicking the hypothetical voice of a media critic. “You just want to help the president. You’re not even reading the documents. What about that CNN report that came out today?”
“Yeah, so look,” Nunes said. “I enjoy being attacked, and the first thing I will tell you is whatever CNN and the New York Times write or talk about I don’t read their information.”
“We’re not going to get into the specifics about how we conduct our investigation,” the congressman continued. “But I will tell you, Laura, and I’ve said this numerous times on your show and other, is that Mr. Gowdy, our lead investigator, Mr. Gowdy is the one who reviews all the initial documents with our investigators. I’m not going to get into the processes that we use, but as the chairman of the committee, when they need documents, they come to me. We use the power that we have vested in us by the Constitution to try to force the Department of Justice and the FBI to comply with these document requests.”
“I know, but you can see the criticism, Congressman,” Ingraham responded. “When they come after you and say Nunes is getting these documents–I think a lot of people want you to have these documents–then you don’t read them, it opens you up to criticism. So I don’t understand why it compromises the investigation for you to say, ‘I read the documents that are necessary to do this investigation and I consult with my staff on the primary documents.’ So I don’t understand your reluctance to say whether you read them or don’t read them. I don’t get that.”
Nunes responded by calling the criticism “process games,” and stating that the “page and a half” that CNN was referring to did not contain the “official intelligence” he was looking for.